My most vivid memory from the day I had him isn't the pain, or even the joy. It's the weight of him as he was handed up to me. The awkward heaviness of his warm, curled up body nuzzling in next to my chest. I remember asking for help because I couldn't figure out where my hands should go in order not to drop him.
By coincidence, this morning he had a tantrum as we were heading to school. (He wanted to stay home and play with the chickens today. Alas, I could not.) Eventually, I just had to pick him up so that we could leave, and for a moment--with a wriggling, screaming, thirty pound boy in my arms--the sensation was the same.
At two years old, or two minutes old...the first rule of motherhood is not to drop the kid.
While his birthday is officially tomorrow, it feels like he's been two for a month now. As Sweet Husband aptly said the other night, "He's so much fun....when he's not screaming at us."
One of the good things about having a much younger sibling, however, is that I remember this part. And I know that it will pass, just as surely as there will be a time when we don't read "Goodnight Moon" before bed anymore. (He has it memorized so that he can recite it to me, which makes me want to have twenty brilliant babies just like him every time he does it.)
One day I'll tease him about the way he used to screech, "I neeeed haaaeeelp" in an almost Southern accent. (I know that I've mentioned that two days in a row, but it really is like the worst nails on a chalkboard ever.) I'll look back wistfully at the hours I spent building train tracks and racing Matchbox cars. (I'm actually pretty good at this "boy" stuff.) I'll yell at him to slow down as he races down the stairs at school, instead of taking each one carefully, while saying to himself, "I'm doing a good job", over and over again. (He gets the talking to himself from his mama. It's deranged when I do it, but it's cute when he does.)
As hair-pulling as two can be, on the balance, I'm still as much in awe at the miracle of him as I was when I was first trying to figure out what to do with his little bootie that just wouldn't lay right.
Happy Birthday Monkey!